Retropharyngeal abscess - extensive

Case contributed by A.Prof Frank Gaillard


Sore throat. Difficulty swallowing.



CT of the neck demonstrates an extensive multi-loculated collection located posterior and to the right of the pharynx. The oropharynx and hypopharynx are both distorted, narrowed and displaced anteriorly and towards the left.

The soft tissues adjacent to the collection, and including the right parotid gland, are heavily stranded and swollen. As far as can be assessed on CT there is no evidence of an epidural collection.

Review of bone algorithm in all three planes should be performed to assess the vertebrae.

Features are consistent with an extensive multiloculated retropharyngeal abscess.

Case Discussion

Retropharyngeal abscesses develop within the retropharyngeal space.

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Case information

rID: 5344
Published: 5th Jan 2009
Last edited: 13th Aug 2019
System: Head & Neck
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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